Military personnel who are active duty, reserve or National Guard in the United States Air Force, Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and U.S. Coast Guard are eligible to have their CLEP (College Level Examination Program) testing and preparation funded by a program known as DANTES (Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support). Those who wish to take CLEP exams under the program should check with their education center for free sample tests and other preparation materials.
How Many CLEP Exams Are There?
There are 33 exams to chose from. Each exam lasts 90 minutes. Military personnel and their spouses get one attempt to pass each of the CLEP exams, without paying for it. Exam scores are accepted at 2,900 colleges and universities across the United States in lieu of coursework. The minimum passing score for a CLEP exam is determined by the American Council on Education, however it is up to the individual college or university to decide what score is acceptable and how much academic credit to award for each CLEP exam taken.
What Are the Benefits of Taking CLEP Exams?
CLEP Exams allow those who pass the tests to earn college credit and skip courses, thus saving time and money. The tests are helpful for the following:
- By demonstrating your knowledge in a certain field, you earn college credit for something you already know.
- You can avoid taking lower-level classes that you would otherwise find boring.
- The branches of the Armed Services often allow reimbursement of study materials to prepare for the tests, as well as paying for the tests. For details, service members should check with their Educational Support Offices.
- In some cases, there are tests that are accepted for more than one level of a class, especially in foreign languages.
What About CLEP for Military Veterans and Military Spouses?
Funding for CLEP for U.S. military veterans may be covered under the GI Bill. Military spouses will want to check for eligibility details from the College Board, who oversees the CLEP program. Active military can learn more about the CLEP program from the College Board’s military page and from the Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support, known as DANTES.